The Salt Spring Island Amateur Radio Society is an active group of ham radio operators on Salt Spring Island, the largest of the Southern Gulf Islands. As well as the social aspect, the SSIARS helps maintain the readiness of amateur radio operators to help out with emergencies. The weekly SSIARS net is held on Wednesdays at 7 pm. There is an informal get-together every day at 8 am, usually on 146.595 MHz simplex. There are training exercises and several fox hunts each year all help maintain that readiness. There is usually a barbecue each summer and a Christmas luncheon... in non-pandemic years. We maintain three voice repeaters and three packet nodes for the use of all. All are dual-mode repeaters that handle both traditional FM and digital C4FM. VE7RSI was the first C4FM repeater in the area, changing over in April of 2014. VE7RGP was upgraded in October of 2015. VE7EMG was activated in October of 2017. While VE7RSI was the first C4FM repeater anyhere around here, there are now dozens of them all around us. We also have a WIRES-X node on VE7RGP... node 72058 & room 82058.

SSIARS Membership Form

SSIARS dues FOR 2021 are just $20. For couples, it is $35 and for youths (under 19) it is $10. Associate membership at $20 is for those that have not passed the amateur qualification test. When paying by PayPal, $1 is added to cover the PayPal fees. Please print out the registration form, fill it out and hand it to the treasurer or secretary at the next meeting. Dues can also be paid by cash or by cheque made out to SSIARS. We can also accept payment by an INTERAC transfer sent to but please enter a security question and email the answer to the Treasurer and as well explain whether your payment is for membership dues, a donation, a purchase and so on. Please note we are NOT able to accept auto-deposit e-transfers. The completed registration form can also be emailed to the treasurer.

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“When all else fails and is gone, there is always Amateur Radio.”

This is a quote most often heard in the aftermath of a massive disaster. After the dust settles, patterns emerge that point to the fragility of the every day infrastructure we all take for granted. Localized damage is normally repaired with minor delays and little inconvenience, but when widespread incidents occur, the system may trigger a cascading failure.

Imagine no hydro, no local radio stations on the air, no landlines, no cellphones, no Internet. Then, seemingly out of the blue, a diverse group of men and women activate their plan to establish a communication network.

Portable antennas, handheld transceivers, basement radio shacks and radio clubs all light up. Within the first hour contacts are made with neighbours near and far, information is gathered and forwarded to Emergency Operation Centres and other response services. Communication between government agencies and field representatives is established and enhanced.

Within these volunteers are people with lifetimes of varied experience, all able to contribute to the collective need somewhere. And so as the infrastructure is patched and slowly brought back on line, these people will continue to make contact, pass messages, and fill the gaps as needed.

They will evaluate, discuss their actions, tweak procedures, and design new ones. They are adaptive. This is Amateur Radio. When things are at their very worst, we are at our very best!

For more information or to join our team contact the Salt Spring Island Amateur Radio Society or email Andrew VA7ASI.